The Colorado Buffaloes men’s basketball team survived a surprisingly tight matchup in Corvallis, Oregon, Thursday night with a 60-52 win over Oregon State. It was a defensive, low-scoring battle that featured sloppy play from both sides and long stretches without any scoring. The lowly Beavers (4-23, 0-14 Pac-12) managed to hang close with a Colorado team (15-11, 6-8 Pac-12) desperate to keep winning for a chance at post-season play.
Scoring was limited in the first half. Colorado played solid man defense and closely contested every shot the Beavers took. Oregon State was not as strong on defense, but the Buffaloes seemed to miss nearly all of the open shots they got. The team shot under 30 percent from behind the arc in the half. The Beavers also snagged four steals in the half, helping to keep the Colorado offense from dominating the scoring-challenged Beavers. Despite their offensive futility, Oregon State somehow achieved a 25-24 lead at the half.
Colorado looked more adjusted going into the second half, taking advantage of careless OSU turnovers and getting rebounds for second-chance points on offense. After five minutes, the Buffs had finally built a solid 11-point lead. Both teams went stagnant at this point, unable to score or keep possession for a long stretch of time. Just as the Buffs started to gain momentum again, they allowed a 9-0 run by the Beavers, led by center Gligorije Rakocevic.
The Beavers managed to find a stride on offense and caught up with Colorado at 50 points a piece. A major bucket and a big block from senior guard Derrick White, as well as a clutch three from senior guard Xavier Johnson, gave the Buffs just enough to survive the last few minutes and come away with the win. In a game full of turnovers, Oregon State’s 18 ended up hurting more than CU’s 13.
White, who has been majorly effective in recent games, led the team with 20 points. Johnson contributed 17 in his second game back from team suspension.
Oregon State remains winless in conference play and their current losing streak extends to 14 with the loss.
With the ugly win, Colorado advances to 6-8 in conference play. The Buffs head to Eugene Saturday for a game against an Oregon team eyeing revenge for their earlier loss in Boulder. That game tips off at 1 p.m. (MST)
Contact CU Independent Sports Staff Writer Kyle Rini at firstname.lastname@example.org.